Cooperative DAO Governance - Models,Techniques & Proposals

Hi all,

Complex topic but intentionally quick message for now to keep the coop discussion moving…

I’m reading through a paper from the UK think-tanks ‘NESTA’ & ‘Cooperatives UK’.

It has some useful information for our fledgling Aragon Cooperative (we also require an agreed name IMO:).

So far there’s a few things (I think) the aragon coop has rough consensus on - though require a vote.

  1. We abide & agree on the Aragon Manifesto as Foundational Document.
  2. One member, one vote.
  3. It plays some (yet to be defined) role as proposal filter for Community Fund DAO.
  4. Members agree to abide and implement voted outcomes.

I also think there are further, more specific, individual proposals for coop exploratory governance that we should collate and collectively debate.

Pg. 27- 29 of the NESTA report discuss the ‘Community Shares Model’, which has shown some practical success.

They then go on to discuss and propose a ‘Mutual Shares Model’, that I think could be applicable here, though for me capital and labour are interchangeable implementable terms:

page 29:

• Democratic control exercised through the practice of 
one-member-one-vote, not one-share-one-vote.


• A limit on the amount an individual member can invest, 
preventing such a member exercising undue influence over the co-operative.

I’m here considering the investment of labour, though think I am in favour of some kind of ‘board’. As has also been mentioned, an allocation of funds for the coop would be useful.

• Limited compensation for share capital, paid in the form of interest, 
at a rate no higher than is sufficient to attract and retain the capital required.

I do wonder whether certain tasks could earn active coop members ANT (or something that confers voting rights and/or further participation). I’m not a fan of reputation systems (cards on table:), too game-able.

• The right to withdraw share capital, at or below its paid-up value, 
subject to the discretion of the co-operative’s board, 
safeguarding the best interests of the co-operative.

Ditto - how do we measure/withdraw participatory membership rights?

• No member or shareholder has rights to the residual assets of the enterprise, 
or any form of capital gain associated with ownership (
known as being ‘asset-locked’). 

Yup again

Applying this model to platform co-ops would work along the same lines 
as described above, with one key distinction.
Legally co-operatives can pay share dividends to people who have 
a transactional relationship to the co-operative. 
For instance, if the co-operative was a shop, 
this would be anyone who buys from or sells items to the shop. 
Institutional investors (i.e. social investors) would not be eligible for dividend payments 
as they do not have a transactional relationship with the co-operative.”

At some point we will have to define the coops relationship to AA & A1.

Regards to all,



I’ve been thinking some more about DAO permissions. Although it’s a somewhat semantic alteration, I’m now minded to prefer a 1) permission-less coop but 2) one which whose members are then ‘willing to accept the responsibilities of membership’ - a la ‘Rochdale Principles’

I think this provides the best of both worlds - coop members would be knowing and willing participants, in a free and open environment.

Defining consensus for such responsibilities, seems to be pretty much where we’re currently at.